As many of you will know by now, Boo loves water. Pouring it, watching it as it trickles, catching it, anything to do with the flow of water and she’s fascinated. In my recent post ‘Just add water‘ I thought a good next step for Boo would be to use a water wall. I also wanted to try out a version for dropping pebbles. I’d seen ideas for water walls on Pinterest and it all looked pretty straight forward.
To build a water wall/pebble drop yourself you will need:
- Trellis – (any size you prefer – though bear in mind the height your child can reach)
- Cable ties
- Screws and a drill if attaching it to a wall/fence
- Saw (if pipe needs cutting into sections or shortening in places)
Hubby was tasked with sourcing the two pieces of trellis. I wanted them to fit to the height of our low fencing. He managed to get two pieces for £14 from B&M.
I searched every term I could think of for bendy pipes, I could not find what I was looking for. I text a friend who had some in her garden and found out their actual name is ‘Twirl Tubes’. This makes total sense if you use them for their intended purpose – twirling them around your head so they make a noise. We gave that a few goes, I gave up after getting over adventurous and trying to twirl one in each hand and hitting myself right on my brow bone. Seriously. We tracked the Twirl Tubes down in another B&M store, they were £1 each and I got six. We also purchased a set of 3 jugs so they could be used specifically for the water wall and we weren’t always borrowing from the bath. Unfortunately, I can’t remember what these cost.
The girls and I walked to a local DIY store for the drain pipes and cable ties. The man in the shop was quite curious about what we wanted it for – I mustn’t have looked like a plumber with Squidge and Boo in tow. I explained what we were building and he was really helpful, cutting all the pipes to the right lengths for us there and then. I’m really glad he did, I have no idea how I’d expected to walk back home with a huge length of pipe. We’ll repay his kindness with future visits for more crafty projects! The total cost for the pipe, connectors and the cable ties was just under £15.
I already had an old washing up bowl that I use for outdoor play and a piece of black piping that I’d kept with this project in mind.
Putting it all together was quite straight forward. I laid out the rigid pipes first making sure they fit around each other. I had to saw the black pipe to get it to fit onto the trellis. The Twirl Tubes were next to go on, I tried to tangle them as much as possible and have them finishing in different spots. I put the cable ties on loosely to start with until I was happy with where I had everything. It also meant I could easily spin them to the back of the trellis before pulling them tight and snipping off the ends. Hubby then attached the trellis to our existing fences. One up in the pebbled area and the other next to our driveway, within a reasonable distance of a water source.
Squidge was the first one to get stuck in with the pebble drop. After a taster while work was still in progress, she knew what the deal was. She selected stones from ground and dropped them in the different tubes.
The fun really began when one of the stones didn’t come out at the bottom. She put in another, no, still nothing…
You could hear her brain in motion. “Huh, where did it go?”. She looked in the bottom, she looked from the top. “Mummy, where has it gone?”. I told her that maybe it was stuck. She wiggled the pipe at the bottom, nothing. Then she bashed it, not aggressively, persuasively we’ll say. Out plinked the first stone, followed by the second.
Squidge revisited the pebble drop again the next day, she was quickly joined by her little sidekick. They played alongside one another for quite some time. When Boo had had enough Squidge happily continued by herself. Her bashing technique working a treat each time a stone got stuck.
Squidge was also first to try out the water wall. As soon as Boo spotted what was going on she wanted to join the fun. Squidge was very encouraging once again, directing Boo where to pour the water. Boo found it quite difficult reaching and tipping the jugs to start with.
She observed Squidge and kept trying. She wasn’t always getting a lot of the water in the tube because she was pouring from the side of the jug. Squidge had more control and could use the spout to get all the water in. It may have been quite difficult for Boo to replicate as Squidge is most definitely left handed, and she has been developing a preference for her right.
When Squidge had moved on and Boo was beginning to lose interest as not much water was coming from the bottom, I poured some in for her. She was delighted every time water gushed or dribbled from the pipes. She tried to catch it in her hands, just like the pouring from the cups in the previous activity.
Once she got home today Squidge asked me for water for the water wall. Boo was quick to join her again. They play well alongside one another at this activity, even though it’s quite a tight space.
If you look closely, you can already see Boo developing her pouring action and trying to use the spout more carefully. You may also notice she is imitating Squidge very closely, even favouring her left hand. The magic of mixed age learning.
All in all, I’d definitely say these two activities have been a hit. They are a semi permanent feature in the garden, so the girls can revisit them as and when they wish. I’ve seen another version you my like to try where you attach trellis together to form a triangular stand so it can be moved or stored away.
To change up this activity in future, I may add something different to drop down, such as dried foods, marbles or buttons. I’m quite certain the glass beads from the fairy garden will migrate over at some point!
Lots of love, Cat, Squidge and Boo xxx
Pinterest worthy? If you think so, add these (or any of the other images) to your board. Thank you x
This post is linked to the lovely #CountryKids and #TwinklyTuesday